Diet in hypothyroidism

Best Diet for Hypothyroidism: Foods to Eat, Foods to Avoid

Hypothyroidism is a condition where the body doesn’t make enough thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones help control in side body helps for growth, repair and metabolism. As a result, people who suffer from hypothyroidism may experience tiredness, hair loss, weight gain, feeling cold, feeling down and many more symptoms. Hypothyroidism affects 1 to 2% of people worldwide and is ten times more likely to affect women than men. Foods alone are not solution for hypothyroidism. However, a combination of the right nutrients and medication can help restore thyroid function and minimize symptoms. This article helps you discover the best diet for hypothyroidism, including which foods to eat and which to avoid ball based on research.

What Is Hypothyroidism?

The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland that sits near the base of neck. It makes and stores thyroid hormones that affect nearly every cell in your body when the thyroid gland receives a signal, called TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone), it releases thyroid hormones into the bloodstream. This signal is sent from the pituitary gland, a small gland found at the base of brain, when thyroid hormone levels are low. Occasionally, the thyroid gland doesn’t release thyroid hormones, even when there is plenty of TSH. This is called primary hypothyroidism and is the most common type of hypothyroidism. Approximately 90% of primary hypothyroidism is caused by Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease where immune system mistakenly attacks thyroid gland.

Other causes of primary hypothyroidism are an iodine deficiency, a genetic disorder, taking certain medications and surgery that removes part of the thyroid. On other hand the thyroid gland does not receive enough TSH, the signal to release more thyroid hormone. This happens when the pituitary gland is not working properly and is called secondary hypothyroidism.

Thyroid hormones are very important. They help to control growth, repair and metabolism — a process where body converts what food into energy. The metabolism affects temperature and alters calories. That’s why people with hypothyroidism often feel cold, fatigued and may gain weight easily

How Does Hypothyroidism Affect Metabolism?

The thyroid hormone helps control the speed of metabolism. The faster the metabolism, the more calories body will burn at rest. People who have hypothyroidism make less thyroid hormone. This means they have lower metabolism and burn fewer calories at rest. Having a slow metabolism comes with several health risks. It may leave people tired, increase blood cholesterol levels and make it harder to lose weight.

Which Nutrients Are Important?

There are several nutrients that are important for optimal thyroid health.


Iodine is an essential mineral that is needed to make thyroid hormones. Thus, people with an iodine deficiency might be at risk of hypothyroidism.

Iodine deficiency is very common and affects nearly a third of the world’s population. However, it’s less common in people from developed countries like the US, as they can avoid an iodine deficiency by adding iodized table salt to their foods.

Iodine supplements are not necessary as one can get plenty iodine from diet. Some studies have also shown that too much may damage the thyroid gland.


Selenium helps the body “activate” thyroid hormones so they can be used by the body .This essential mineral also has antioxidant benefits, which means it may protect the thyroid gland from damage by molecules called free radicals

Adding selenium-rich foods to diet is a great way to boost selenium levels. This includes Brazil nuts, tuna, sardines, egg and legumes.


Like selenium, zinc also helps the body “activate” thyroid hormones Studies also show that zinc may help the body regulate TSH, the hormone that tells the thyroid gland to release thyroid hormones Zinc deficiencies are rare in developed countries, as zinc is abundant in the food supply. Nonetheless, if someone have hypothyroidism, they should aim to eat more zinc-rich foods like oysters and other shellfish, beef and chicken.

Which Nutrients Are Harmful hypothyroidism?

There are several nutrients that may be harmful to someone with hypothyroidism.


These are compounds that may interfere with the normal function of the thyroid gland. They get their name from the term “goiter,” which is an enlarged thyroid gland that may occur with hypothyroidism .Surprisingly, many everyday foods contain goitrogens. These include

  • Soy foods:Tofu, Bhatmass
  • Certain vegetables:Cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, spinach, etc.
  • Fruits and starchy plants:Sweet potatoes, cassava, peaches, strawberries, etc.
  • Nuts and seeds:Millet, pine nuts, peanuts, etc.

So in theory, people with hypothyroidism should avoid goitrogens. However, this only seems to be an issue for people who have an iodine deficiency or eat large amounts of goitrogens but cooking foods with goitrogens may “inactivate” the goitrogenic substances .One exception to the above foods is pearl millet. Some studies have found that pearl millet might interfere with thyroid function, even if anyone have an iodine deficiency.


It is a protein found in grains like wheat, rye and barley.People who have celiac disease, an autoimmune disease, can’t eat gluten. Their body mistakenly attacks it and causes damage to the surrounding gut area Unfortunately, research shows that people who have an autoimmune disease are at risk of developing another autoimmune disease That’s why some people who have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, the main cause of hypothyroidism, may also have celiac disease This also means that some people who have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis might need to remove gluten to help improve their symptoms.

Foods to Avoid

Fortunately, there aren’t many foods that need to avoid if you have hypothyroidism.However, foods that contain goitrogens should be eaten in moderation and ideally cooked.One should also avoid eating highly processed foods, as they usually contain more calories.

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